Mutual Mobile & Flexdrive

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Last week Lyft announced it was acquiring one of our key automotive clients, Flexdrive. At Mutual Mobile we love to see our visionary clients achieve this level of success . We are honored to have had the opportunity to partner with Flexdrive on their journey to this moment. Moments like this give us a chance to reflect on how our process has helped clients like Flexdrive accelerate their vision into reality and ask “how might we help our next client build a future?”

Flexdrive is changing the way people think about getting a vehicle by offering a cost-effective alternative to buying, leasing or renting—and all through an amazing platform and app. Flexdrive approached us with a simple request: refresh, develop, and release a new version of the Flexdrive app for iOS and Android. We had worked on their initial app a few years prior and in that time Flexdrive was able to prove they had a viable business model. Now, they wanted to take it to the next level and do a deep dive into the customer experience, technology capabilities, and Flexdrive vision. It all starts with a strategic kickoff.

Mutual Mobile works with clients to uncover what they really need by aligning key stakeholders through strategic, onsite project kickoffs or starting with a research-led approach to uncover real problem-areas. We want to make sure we are solving the right business and user problems.

A project kickoff is more than just a handshake and start date. We want to introduce you to the people who you’ll be working with for the next few months, who you will trust to bring your idea to life. You bring your key-stakeholders and subject-matter expertise, we’ll bring your amazing new team. Together we’ll uncover your business and customer’s most urgent needs and define how your project will take shape in the coming weeks and months.

Speaking of urgent needs, Flexdrive wanted their app ASAP and within a certain budget. With that in mind we came to the kickoff ready to discuss how new technology frameworks could help us achieve that. Flexdrive had a native iOS and native Android app in their respective stores. As seasoned app developers we know that two native platforms can easily increase time and budget. We urged Flexdrive to adopt React Native, a framework that offers platform agnostic native components and streamlines development for two platforms. This move to React Native proved to be exactly what they needed and it helped us deliver more efficiently. A successful kickoff will close with a shared understanding of how we’ll tackle a problem. We all come to a meeting with assumptions about what will work best, but as the day progresses and we hear from business, design, and tech we start to question those assumptions and land on solid ground with a new understanding of the problems we are solving.

Our engineers and designers are continuously learning. Our teams are always searching for new ways to bring the best ideas to our clients. We support technology certifications, design-thinking methodologies, user-research, and rapid prototyping to lead us on to new technology frontiers.

We adopt a learning-mindset so that our discovery of newer, better, and faster ways to design and deliver happen beyond kickoff. With Flexdrive well underway we came up against quite a few obstacles. Because we had a learning-mindset, these obstacles became interesting and exciting challenges instead of show-stopping blockers. Time was always against us but we persevered in how we approached some traditionally time-consuming features. Location services can be a monster, but because server, frontend, QA, design, and project management were all in the same room with frequent access to the client, we were able to figure out just the right configuration of the feature for us and our client to get it delivered on time.

Constant collaboration between engineers, designers, project management, and client has proven to be the key to success. It’s the fastest way to uncover problems and design solutions resulting in delivery on time and on budget.

Because of our frequent collaboration our teams have the room to explore and deliver. After a successful MVP release with Flexdrive we had fast follow-up items identified and ready to go. What we discover as we build can be more exciting and satisfying than the initial idea. As we build we get to glimpse the future, beyond release. Along with Flexdrive we glimpsed partnerships with more dealers, OEMs, and other platforms. Those glimpses motivated us and Flexdrive to think about the future and develop a flexible experience ready to take on the automotive industry.

We are proud to have been a part of Flexdrive’s journey to where they are today. We want to congratulate Flexdrive for their accomplishments as a company and their successful acquisition by Lyft. Together we learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t. As with Flexdrive and all our clients, we continue to refine our process, our services and our people in hopes of starting another, successful journey.

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